Peep Show creators Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong have received investment from BBC Worldwide for their fledgling production company Various Artists Limited. Earlier this year, the pair joined forces in the venture with former Channel 4 exec Phil Clarke, responsible for commissioning Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney’s Catastrophe, and This Is England commissioner Roberto Troni.
Bain and Armstrong have also written shows including Fresh Meat and Ill Behaviour as well as terrorism comedy film Four Lions.
BBC WW has taken a 20% stake in Various Artists which will aim to produce comedies and dramas for broadcasters in the UK and U.S. The BBC’s commercial arm will distribute projects from the firm.
This is the latest production deal for the UK’s largest distributor following investments in War And Peace producer Lookout Point; House Productions, set up by former Film 4 boss Tessa Ross and Working Title’s Juliette Howell; and Steve Coogan’s label Baby Cow.
Bain and Armstrong said they were pleased to be working with BBCWW, which has a “great track record in backing both comedy and drama.”
“What’s more, as their name suggests, they have access to the whole wide world. They’ve figured out how wide the world is, and it doesn’t faze them. It’s impressive to say the least,” the pair added.
BBC Worldwide’s commercial director of comedy Jonathan Blyth said that it was an “easy” investment deal.
“Phil and Roberto’s flawless track records in comedy and drama, coupled with the opportunity of a first look over television projects created by Sam and Jesse makes this a particularly exciting creative and commercial opportunity for BBC Worldwide.”